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Terry Sweeney: Wikis


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Terry Sweeney (born March 23, 1960) is a American writer, comedian and actor.



Saturday Night Live

Sweeney is best known for his appearances as a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live (SNL) during that program's 1985-86 season.

Sweeney, who is not related to fellow SNL alumnus Julia Sweeney, had also been a writer of sketches for SNL during the early 1980s under producer Jean Doumanian prior to being hired as a member of the cast.

He was SNL's first openly gay cast member; Sweeney was "out" prior to being hired as a cast member.[1] Sweeney's run on the show came at a time when there were few openly gay characters or actors on television.

According to the book, "Live From New York: The Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live," during a sketch on the Madonna/Simple Minds episode where he plays a gay actor who pretends to be straight in order to star in a movie, a stage light falls into an empty pool, causing Sweeney to shriek and nearly fall out of his chair. This action was not scripted nor planned. (The book erroneously states that this happened to Damon Wayans, who only appeared on the episode in a commercial parody.)

During his season on SNL, he became known for his celebrity impersonations, particularly female impersonations of stars like Diana Ross, Patti LaBelle, Joan Collins, Brooke Shields's mother Teri Shields, and Joan Rivers, as well as Ted Kennedy (the only male celebrity he impersonated). His most notable recurring character was a portrayal of then-First Lady Nancy Reagan; Sweeney was told by Ron Reagan, who hosted one of that season's episodes, that he was "more like his mother than she is."

Other credits

Sweeney has written for the FOX TV series MADtv, The WB's short-lived sketch comedy series Hype, and Sci Fi Channel's Tripping the Rift, among a few others, all with his partner, Lanier Laney.

Sweeney's major film credit was as the co-screenwriter for the film Shag, which was released in 1989.

Stand-up routine for Coming Out Party. (Movie)

Episodes of Tripping the Rift Written By Sweeney and Laney

  • "Mutilation Ball" (also written with Sy Rosen)
  • "Power to the Peephole"
  • "Android Love"
  • "Roswell"
  • "Creaturepalooza"
  • "Chode's Near-Death Experience"
  • "Six, Lies, and Videotape"

Personal life

Terry Sweeney's partner is Lanier Laney, a comedy writer who also wrote for SNL in the 1985-1986 season. The couple met at the now-defunct Chaps Bar in New York years after Sweeney graduated from Middlebury College and they have been together ever since. Laney and Sweeney were also writing partners for Saturday Night Live during the 1985-1986 season, the movie Shag, and the Sci-Fi Channel cartoon "Tripping The Rift". Currently, the couple reside in Beaufort, South Carolina.


  1. ^ Shales, Tom; Miller, James Andrew (2002), Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, Back Bay, p. 316, ISBN 0316735655  

External links

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